Author Archive: Robert K. Oermann

Robert K. Oermann is a longtime contributor to MusicRow. He is a respected music critic, author and historian.

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Noted Arranger Sheldon Kurland Passes

Sheldon Kurland, known throughout the Nashville music community as a session musician and as the leader of The Sheldon Kurland Strings, died Wednesday, Jan. 6 at age 81. He can be heard on such hits as “Last Cheater’s Waltz” by T. G. Sheppard, “Rose Colored Glasses” by John Conlee, “Everything is Beautiful” by Ray Stevens, […]

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Nashville Star, Earl Gaines: 1935-2009

Nashville r&b star Earl Gaines died on New Year’s Eve at St. Thomas Hospital. He was 74 years old. Gaines was a gruff-voiced shouter who was a central figure in Music City’s soul scene for decades. That fact was underscored by his prominence in the Country Music Hall of Fame exhibit and Grammy Award winning […]

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Bess Lomax Hawes Dies

Lifelong folk-music champion Bess Lomax Hawes died Friday, November 27 at the age of 88 in Portland, Oregon. In 1941-43 she was a member of The Almanac Singers alongside Pete Seeger and Woody Guthrie. In 1948, she wrote the folk classic “M.T.A.,” which became a hit for The Kingston Trio in 1959. She moved to […]

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DISClaimer (9/25/09)

Yikes: How did it get to be the end of September already? The official first day of Autumn was Tuesday, and everyone is polishing up their late-year releases. Tim scores big points in this column with “Southern Voice,” the title tune of his Oct. 20 CD. Last night, Miranda debuted her Revolution at the Ryman. […]

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DISClaimer (9/18/09)

No cash this week, because there’s not a clunker in sight. Everybody is playing at the top of their game, especially the ridiculously talented Steve Wariner, Gene Watson and Darius Rucker. Programmers are going to hate this next sentence. All 10 of these platters deserve airplay. Polish off a DisCovery Award for Chris Heers. He […]

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DISClaimer (9/16/09)

The Americana music convention begins today in Nashville, so what better time to run a column about the genre? The artists we’re talking about today are all up for awards at Thursday’s gala at the Ryman Auditorium. So we’re talking the cream of Americana, here. Earlier in the year, I raved about nominees such as […]

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DISClaimer (9/11/09)

It’s country collaboration day! Ronnie Milsap is singing with Trace Adkins. Bruce Springsteen turns up as a guest on John Fogerty’s album. Billy Gibbons meets Brooks & Dunn in a roadhouse rumble. And in the most unlikely scenario of all, Hank Williams Jr. takes a ride in Appalachia with The Grascals. And mostly the match-up […]

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DISClaimer (9/4/09)

This is quite a mixed bag. Leeann Atherton clocks in with a dreamy blues tune. Rocker Ronnie Godfrey has a Tennessee Titans fight song. We have excellent Nashville songwriter albums from Bill Luther and Kent Blazy. And there’s a whole flurry of newcomers. Among them, Melanie Denard wins our DisCovery Award. And to add some […]

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DISClaimer (8/28/09)

The stars are twinkling so brightly that I am temporarily blinded. That is to say, I simply can’t make up my mind. Should I choose the hearty male country vocal? What about our teen-queen sales champion? And then there’s the refreshingly rocking group performance. All three qualify for a Disc of the Day prize, yet […]

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DISClaimer (8/21/09)

We live in an era of singles and tracks, but there are still a few out there who buck the trend. It pleases me to report that there are several folks in this week’s stack of platters who still make true ALBUMS. There is an art to this that many mainstream country artists seem to […]

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DISClaimer (8/14/09)

It is independents’ day. We are in what are known as the dog days of summer, when major-label releases slow to a trickle in anticipation of the big fall product push. What better time for the indies to scurry about and make some noise? As is generally the case in surveying indie singles, the quality […]

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